Dairy took center stage during President Donald Trump’s visit to a Group of Seven (G7) Summit last week in Quebec, Canada. From Thursday to Sunday the president shared a string of tweets singling out Canada’s 270 percent tariffs on dairy imports from the United States, saying the measures hurt American farmers and agriculture.

The tweets swung the spotlight onto the difficulties American dairy companies face with one of the United States’ biggest trading partners and protectionist dairy policies, a conversation IDFA has continually elevated with the president, administration officials and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiators.

Canada implements steep and prohibitive dairy policies to manage the supply of dairy products, a practice it has conducted since 1970 to support the country’s dairy farmers. Of great concern to U.S. dairy companies is Canada’s newest protectionist policy called Class 7, a milk pricing regime introduced 16 months ago. It artificially lowers milk ingredient prices and incentivizes the substitution of domestic dairy ingredients over imported ingredients. It also promotes the dumping of Canadian proteins onto world markets, artificially manipulating global prices.

“IDFA has repeatedly stressed to President Trump and administration officials that addressing the Class 7 pricing policy through NAFTA is essential for the U.S. dairy industry,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO.

In March, President Trump similarly took to Twitter to condemn Canada and its dairy policies as “highly restrictive.”

IDFA will continue to make dairy’s voice heard during the remainder of the negotiations, and Dykes will continue to advocate for dairy with U.S. negotiators as a cleared advisor.

For more information contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.org.